I like classic fantasy. Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance, Final Fantasy 5 and earlier, etc. One game franchise that I really enjoyed in recent years because of it's appeal to that was The Witcher.
It's been a trend for a long while now but RPGs all feel the need to put their own spin on it by adding in some random in house designed races for no reason other than saying 'we're not lord of the rings' or with WoW's case where they are trying to force distance themselves from Games Workshop. WoW with Draenai, what was previously medieval fantasy Final Fantasy Tactics's universe with those weird rabbit people and lizardmen, DND and Paizo's current obsession with monster races and weird shit like sentient bushes.
I want humans, elves, dwarves, trolls, and if it's going to get weird then you maybe have an underworld of eldritch abominations that is 'uncovered' in the game where they successfully keep the mystery under wraps.
One thing that annoys me with a lot of modern fantasy stories and games overall, and modern movies even, is they just immediately throw you in. There is no mystery, no buildup, etc. of this non-human world you are going to explore. Sure i'm expecting to see the tropes and the typical elements of fantasy but they skip the buildup of the wonder of an elven forest or anything like that. Movies are so ridiculous now that they assume every person in-universe is some nerd whose seen every fantasy movie (because the audience has) and knows every trope. The Joss Whedon method of storytelling. I HATE this shit.
A friend recently forced me to play Tales of Beseria with him and that to me is how you do an intro of a game and build up of revealing a game world. It gets a bit too jrpg for me after that but they have the right idea and it doesn't lose it's plot to wackyville immediately like recent stuff i've played from Paizo where you are meeting smooth talking goblins and bird men just at the start of games but I saw it was heading that way over time with those cats in chests and all that.
Even though i'm ripping on Paizo here for their Slime anime take on building a game setting Pathfinder Kingmaker (the crpg) does it well. You play as an explorer of a new area and you gradually reveal what's going on there. Wacky weird things like the Goblin PC are not hitting you in the face as you step in the door, it's revealed later and through story/plot. I am not against you getting races like orcs or trolls in your party in games, like say if they made a Witcher party rpg, but this is the way I like to see it. The enemies are interesting as well. Ancient civilizations and otherworldly creatures. I think the developers of this being from Eastern Europe seems to be a key factor with this. They seem to be far more into classic style fantasy than the west who seem to have huge influence more from cartoons and don't take things nearly as seriously. Shame the game's balance was so fucked and a couple of the dungeons ridiculously obnoxious.
Witcher works really well for me. Very classic fantasy style setting with it's own unique aspects layered on top of it in a way that fits very well. The main character also has the same appeal that Drizzt used to have before he became a meme. You even have ridiculous things such as troll tolls played off. Very much like more adult reader orientated humor not Saturday morning cartoon shit you see in some JRPGs and other games. The TV show on Netflix was the same with light hearted scenes. I am not looking for things to be hard af like Game of Thrones could get at times or the 1980s Paul Verhoeven movie Flesh and Blood. In fact that direction is also 'cringe' to me if it gets to be too much. This game and the previous Pathfinder game I talked about had a great balance if a game is going to do 'comedy'. Seems these eastern europeon game devs can really nail that. As far as gameplay it's an action rpg when I more like party rpgs but the world is just so good I enjoyed the game and got more into this style of RPG than I was in the past.
I guess the final game I think of is both Divinity Original Sins. They are really something I should seriously play. The problem is I started playing both with a friend but they end up quitting and so I never finish them. It's quite a bit more whimsical and silly than Witcher like how western europeon high budget titles usually are. Much more like Warcraft setting and storytelling wise.
Before I did a run through all these I got tired of how RPGs were a few years ago and went back and played/replayed many.
Anything I should check out?
- None Found
More about Gaming NewsPost: "What are some back to basics old style meat and potatoes RPGs I should check out? A few I liked. (settings/story)" specifically for the game Gaming News. Other useful information about this game:
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